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Legal & money

Is it easy to do it yourself?

(12 Posts)
H1954 Tue 31-Mar-20 03:23:00

I've been nominated as an executor in a will. The person has now died. There's a house with a small mortgage. The house has been left to one of the 4 daughters. I'm not relation to them. There's no money but there is some debt from what I can make out.

Could I handle all the proceedings myself? Has anyone got any experience in doing this? Where do I start as I'm really struggling with all this and can see me ultimately shelling out a lot of money that I cannot claim from the estate!

M0nica Tue 31-Mar-20 07:31:54

H1954 Did you know you had been nominated as executor. I think you can refuse to act if this was the case.

Why will you be out of pocket if you act as executor? All debts and expenses of the administration have to be met from the estate before any money is paid out to the beneficiaries.

From what you say the house is the only asset. In which case the house will have to be sold to repay the mortgage and any other debts and charges that rise from the administration and then what remains will be paid to the inheriting daughter. If she specifically wants the house then she will have to pay all the debts and charges and repay the mortgage. How she does that is her problem and nothing to do with you.

I would just instruct a solicitor to handle the administration. He will advise you and help you and his fees are taken from the estate.

Davidhs Tue 31-Mar-20 07:36:45

It is the executors job to make sure everything is done correctly and nobody takes advantage. As there is no cash and some debt, the debt plus the funeral expenses will have to be paid out of the value of the house and contents.
My first concern would be what does the will say, if there is no written will the estate has to be divided up by the intestacy rule.
As there are 4 daughters and the house has been left to one, if there is any dispute, that will need resolving. The daughter who has been left the house may well help to sell it, make sure that is done in conjunction with a solicitor to ensure debts are paid.
What does the will say and how cooperative are the family.

Pikachu Tue 31-Mar-20 07:50:48

The OP clearly states there is a will.


H1954 Tue 31-Mar-20 07:55:37

Many thanks for the advice, I'm grateful that you have taken the time to respond. I am considering denouncing the responsibility, I do know that is possible and how to do it. I'm not particularly close to the family but I am aware that there has been friction in the past between them all. I'm having to visit the house to collect various papers; they're so badly organised despite one of them living there and with Covid 19 this is causing even more concern!

M0nica Tue 31-Mar-20 08:24:50

Here is a link to a Citizens Advice fact sheet.

Scroll down through all the information on how to wind up an estate and towards the end there is a section on not acting as executor.

Hang on, it is quite short I will cut and paste it
^Even if you have been named as an executor in someone's will, you may not wish to, or be able to, act. You can appoint someone else to apply for probate on your behalf. ..........
You may not want to appoint someone else to act for you. You can still refuse to act, as long as the person who made the will has died and you have not already started to deal with the estate. This is called renouncing. To renounce, you fill in a form called a form of renunciation. You can download the form of renunciation from GOV.UK. You then file the form at a probate registry, together with the will.^

If you go to the site linked above, the section on renouncing your executorship has an embedded link that takes you to a page telling you in detail what to do and a link to the form you need to complete. This cannot be filled in on line, you need to print it out. but everything you need is there and you could have the form completed and in the post by this evening!

Davidhs Tue 31-Mar-20 08:26:31

If one of them is living there, presumably the inheriting daughter, she will probably want to take on the mortgage and debt. There is bound to be trouble if one gets it all.
As you have said denounce the will and let a solicitor sort it out if they can’t agree.

silverlining48 Tue 31-Mar-20 08:46:16

Fill the renunciation form in and send it off. This has the potential to be difficult especially in these uncertain times .

mumofmadboys Tue 31-Mar-20 08:54:53

Could you appoint a solicitor to sort it out? As there is tension between the 4 daughters it would be better done by a solicitor. You will not end up out of pocket. Does the daughter want to sell the house and pay off all the debts?

Oopsadaisy3 Tue 31-Mar-20 09:27:04

I don’t have a crystal ball, but if 1 daughter lives in the house and is due to inherit it and the other 3 don’t know about it, there will probably be trouble.
I would hand it to a solicitor, there will be some fees to pay, plus any bills, it might be that the house will have to be sold to pay off any debts, or the heiress might have to take out a loan to pay debts, if the others contest the will it could take a long time to sort. You might be letting yourself in for months of hassle.

H1954 Tue 31-Mar-20 15:53:58

Many thanks for all your responses and opinions. All sorted now, I've spoken to a very good friend who's close to a solicitor. I now know my responsibilities and the inheriting daughters has to sort out the rest including paying off the debts and mortgage if she wants to keep the house! I don't want to sound cruel but I do not care what trouble emerges when the other three find out!

M0nica Tue 31-Mar-20 16:15:24

H1954 That is exactly the attitude you need. Internecine strife between the siblings is nothing to do with you. It is not cruel it is doig your job properly without fear or favour.

In a similar situation to yours, that was our response. DH administered the estate strictly according to the will and with a solicitor doing all the legal work. That one of the beneficiaries felt aggrieved, was nothing to do with us. She got everything left to her in the will and that as far as we were concerned was that.